I have these little waxy things attached to the stems of a rosemary plant. They come off easily and are filled with some reddish liquid if you squeeze them. I'm assuming it's a bug. Just curious what it is and if I should pick them all off. I haven't tried spraying the plant with anything and they don't move.

waxy things on plant

1 Answer 1


Chinese Wax Scale or Barnacle Scale

This is the closest I could get; the big white ones are the males. Chinese DO make candles out of these guys.

Someone else will have more entomology and give a definitive answer but this is scale and is a sucking insect. Sort of like aphids and just as easy to control. I would pick them off if there are just a few but I worry that if these are the males where are the immature and females? Look under the leaves and at the tips of the branches. Look in the soil around the base of your rosemary. The wax covering protects them from pesticides a bit. I've heard using alcohol on a q - tip.

Kind of a cool insect, really amazing creatures how they adapt and evolve. If the infestation is severe after you are able to look more closely, take another picture of females and the young. Look at the plants nearby as well! Species Ceroplastes cirripediformis - Barnacle Scale

  • wow thanks! i did not see any females but i will look closer. glad i asked before using it on my grilled salmon!
    – jason
    Apr 11, 2017 at 9:43
  • Oh snickers!! That rosemary is just fine to use on your salmon!! Seriously, a quick rinse, shake and great grilled salmon. In no way are you eating scale poop. You'll find that the leaves are mostly untouched...for now. Want some lobster or shrimp with that salmon? Should I tell you that lobster and shrimp are insects? LOL!!
    – stormy
    Apr 12, 2017 at 21:36

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